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"Make a Living Writing is the only blog I read religiously. It's always on top of the news and advice writers need RIGHT NOW to earn more from their writing." —Linda Formichelli, The Renegade Writer

4 Survival Tips for Writers Caught in the Waiting Game

photodune-11210776-impatient-woman-xsYou know that amazing feeling when you write a terrific pitch to a potential editor or freelance writing client and then click send?

But then…you don’t get a response immediately.

One time, I actually said to myself, I sent them an email an hour ago, and they haven’t responded yet. Did they die? (They didn’t.)

The stress of waiting for a response can drive even the sanest freelance writer crazy.

But you don’t have to let it. Here are a few tactics I use to stay sane while I’m waiting to hear back:
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Afraid No One Will Take You Seriously as a Freelance Writer?

Freelance writers feel their viewed as kidsI was recently asked what the biggest obstacle is for talented writers who want to earn well as freelancers.

Well. First, let’s say what the big problem isn’t.

It’s not living in a small town without a lot of good prospective clients (it’s a global marketplace), and it’s not the ‘bad economy’ (which officially rebounded several years ago).

It’s not that you’re too old, or too young, or that you don’t have a degree in a related field. I have seen many committed freelance writers overcome every one of these issues.

The most massive problem is the one between your ears.

Fears that we don’t “have what it takes” haunt us.

Self-doubt gnaws at our guts.

Take this note from Adeline, for instance, a writer who commented recently in my Freelance Writers Den forums about her reaction to getting her writer website done. I’ve edited this down a bit:

 

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5 Idiot Blunders I Made on My First White Paper Writing Assignment

Freelance writer makes a mistakeOne of the biggest moves a freelance writer can make to earn more is to move into better-paying types of writing.

When you go from, say, writing $20 blog posts to writing white papers that can pay $1,500-$10,000, it’s a big leap.

Of course, a lot can also go wrong when you step into a new, more sophisticated kind of writing that you haven’t done before. But if you want to earn more, at some point you have to buck up your courage and go for it.

A few years back, I fell into an opportunity to write my first white paper, when a writer I knew referred me for the project. I’d heard this was a great-paying writing niche, and I was dying to sink my teeth into one of these big, detailed projects.

Even though I hadn’t written white papers before, I was tapped because the topic was a big company’s nonprofit efforts — which I’d covered in the past, as a reporter. So I knew the end client and what we’d be documenting fairly well.

Maybe that made me a little overconfident. I made a boatload of rookie mistakes that made this first $2,500 white paper gig a lot more unpleasant and lengthy than it should have been.

And I never ended up working for this client again. So. Relationship blown.

Where did it all go wrong? Let me count the ways…

 

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One Writer’s Crazy Quest to Earn Six Figures–Working Part Time

Freelance writer works part timeFor many freelance writers, hitting six figures in income is the brass ring.

I’ve been privileged to grab the ring once in my career, but it can be a grueling effort to earn six figures. I learned I’m too lazy to do that year after year.

I decided to pursue the six-figure quest my own way: working part-time.

So far in 2015, I’m on track to do just that. I’m spending about 18 hours a week at my desk, and I’ve booked an average of $8,500 per month in assignments. Here’s how I’m doing it.

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Are You an Overworked Freelancer? 10 Key Moves to Avoid Burnout

Overworked freelance writer breaking free -- Make a Living WritingMany writers tell me they wish they could find even one client. But today, I want to talk about the other side of the coin.

Once you get rolling in freelance writing and word starts getting around about your talents, you can quickly find yourself overbooked, overworked, and exhausted.

I recently had a chat with freelance writer Alyssa Ast about this on my Facebook chat — she was getting overloaded, and her personal passion writing projects were sitting idle. She’s got a passel of young kids to care for, too.

And she was nearing her breaking point.

 

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Grow Your Blog: Steal Tips From My Social Media Marketing Experiment

business man pressing computer laptop and social networkHave you wondered if getting serious about social media could help you grow your blog audience?

Today, I’ve got proof for you that it can.

Hiring a social media manager has been on my to-do list for a long time, but I was reluctant to commit big bucks to it.

I finally saw my opportunity a few months ago, when my son, Evan, wanted a flexible job he could do alongside his college coursework. He lives on Facebook, his smartphone is never off, he needs to earn his way, and it was money I would have to spend anyway to support him.

It seemed like a good opportunity to try training someone I could trust to take over social-media tasks, where I could closely monitor how it worked.

After a few bumps and lumps, we came up with a goof-proof plan that’s grown my audience, subscribers, and sales.

Real results in a few minutes a week

The best part? The plan we developed is super-simple, and doesn’t require any sophisticated social-media knowledge. You can do it without hiring a social media manager, and many of the techniques are free. You could also hire an affordable teen and get this done for a song.

These steps take only a few minutes a week — and I believe this social media marketing has played a major role in growing my blog traffic over the past year.

I’ll share my takeaways in three parts — the plan, the problems, and the results.

 

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